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Politico – The lost genius of the Post Office

For almost two centuries, the humble-seeming mail was a hotbed of new ideas. What happened? By Kevin Kosar: “We think a lot about how innovation arises, but not enough about how it gets quashed. And the USPS is a great example of both…When Americans think about the most innovative agency in the government, they think about the Pentagon or NASA. But throughout much of its history, that title could just as easily have fallen to the Post Office, which was a hotbed of new, interesting, sometimes crazy ideas as it sought to accomplish a seemingly simple task: deliver mail quickly and cheaply. The Post Office experimented with everything from stagecoaches to airplanes—even pondered sending mail cross-country on a missile. For decades, the agency integrated new technologies and adapted to changing environments, underpinning its ability to deliver billions of pieces of mail every year, from the beaches of Miami to the banks of Alaska, for just cents per letter…”

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